Quick Contact

Ronald Porter
Director of Service-Learning

Eckerd College
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711


toll-free: 800-456-9009
local: 727-864-7512


Service Learning

Puerto Rico: Spring Break '10

Puerto Rico

View photos from Puerto Rico

11 students traveled to Puerto Rico this spring break to do environmental volunteer work at Hacienda Verde, a holistic ecological reserve. Located in the mountains of Utuado, the rainforest is home to many endangered species, as well as a shade coffee plantation, orange groves, and myriads of plantains. It presented a wonderful opportunity for learning and connecting with the environment and each other. The week was spent rising with the sun to dig ditches in the clay and dirt roads along the mountains, a task done twice a year to prevent water erosion of the roads. We worked closely with the dedicated foreman, Junior, who has been working alone at the arduous task. Other work included intensively cleaning certain rooms and our dormitory as well as pruning and clearing the landscape.

The incredible, visionary owner of Hacienda Verde, Miguel Rico, gave us a tour of the forest, pointing out trees and methods he used for ensuring sustainability. We visited the ancient tabonuca tree forest, one of the last indigenous groves on the island. Free time was spent hiking and swimming, listening to the coquis (frogs) and the birds. An excursion to the breath taking cave on Rio Tanama was made on Friday with the help of our guide, "The Indian".

The weekend was spent in Ponce, the second largest city in Puerto Rico. We were graciously hosted by the community of Iglesia Metodista. The weekend was spent touring around the historic city Saturday evening and all day Easter Sunday.

View photos from Puerto Rico

Calls for Participation

Academy Prep

Volunteer with Academy Prep

Academy Prep is a unique private middle school program serving 5th through 8th grade students in a low-income area. Students must qualify for need-based scholarships to attend and must have a desire to succeed in a rigorous academic environment. Academy Prep works with students to prepare them for higher education, maintaining relationships with graduates through high school, college, and into their adult lives.

YMCA Reads

Volunteer Mentors Needed

YMCA Reads! is an after-school reading assistance and mentoring program providing opportunities for at-risk and low-income children in kindergarten through third grade to develop the reading skills they need to succeed in school.

Community Action Stops Abuse

Community Action Stops Abuse

It takes a whole community to stop domestic violence. CASA's vision is a community without domestic violence so that home is a safe place.

Edible Peach Patch Project

The Edible Peace Patch Project

The Edible Peace Patch Project is a not for profit organization whose mission is to eliminate poverty as a factor in educational success and diet-related health issues.

Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Tampa Bay Estuary Program

The mission of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program is to build partnerships to restore and protect Tampa Bay through implementation of a scientifically sound, community-based management plan.